Nier Reincarnation: Gameplay, release date, and everything you need to know

Nier Reincarnation Battle
Nier Reincarnation Battle (Image credit: Square Enix)

Square Enix revealed during E3 2021 that it was bringing the NieR series to mobile devices. This entry in the series, called NieR Reincarnation, is a mobile spin-off title that follows the adventures of a little girl fighting off a dark monster. It was released in Japan on February 18, and it will launch to the rest of the world on July 28.

What is Nier: Reincarnation?

Nier: Reincarnation — often stylized as NieR: Re[in]carnation — is a mobile game set in the same universe as the Nier games (which were originally a spin-off of the Drakengard series) and is being developed by Square Enix and Applibot. It's a free-to-play RPG where the battles take place inside human memories. The connection to the main NieR series, if there is one, is not clear.

The player character is the Girl of Light, a little girl with no memory who wakes up to find herself in a series of empty rooms and towers referred to as The Cage. She's accompanied only by a mysterious phantasm-like creature calling itself Mama, and she is opposed by something called The Dark Monster.

What kind of gameplay doesNier: Reincarnation have?

Reincarnation is a mobile RPG that uses touch controls. The Girl and Mama explore the Cage and discover Weapons, large floating dark objects that contain human memories. They must try to purge invasive creatures trying to corrupt the memories, which they do within specific battle spaces called Weapon Stories. These appear as 2D gameplay, compared with Girl and Mama's 3D world.

Once within the battle space, the memory characters will battle enemies using a real-time, turn-based system. Three characters will attack at once, with one being the primary and the other two being support. The support characters will attack automatically, while the player controls when the primary character attacks. They also have skill or attack gauges that are continuously refilling. When they are full, the player can use them to generate special moves. The player can combo some of the moves with different characters, and finishing battles quickly will depend on being able to time for the best combos.

Each character also has equipment, including a primary weapon, sub weapons, and companions who can assist in the attacks. Equipment and characters can also be leveled up in a separate in-game inventory menu.

Is Nier: Reincarnation related to the other Nier games?

While the Nier games have the same general world, and it appears that Reincarnation is set within the same world, it doesn't seem that the game is directly connected with the stories of the original Nier or Nier Automata. When directly asked about it, creator Yoko Taro dodged the question, but implied that Reincarnation is, for the most part, a standalone story. It's worth noting that with Yoko Taro, anything is possible.

However, on a non-story level, other Nier characters are available to join the battle as special characters. 9S, 2B, Nier, and Kaine are all available to join your party, at least if you obtain them during the special crossover events in which they appear.

Does Nier: Reincarnation have microtransactions?

Nier: Reincarnation is free-to-play, and it could theoretically be played without spending any money on it (Nier creator Yoko Taro said in an interview once that he'd never put money into a gacha game). However, Reincarnation it does have microtransactions, in the form of the mechanic players can use to obtain new weapons and items.

Nier: Reincarnation is a gacha RPG, meaning that you can obtain several different heroes to fight for you. Some of them can be obtained via normal gameplay, but most will only be accessible when you roll for them using the gacha mechanics. Characters come with star ratings, with the best having four stars. Usually, the player is given some free rolls, and rolls can be purchased with the in-game gem currency. However, you can put real money into the gacha system.

When can you play Nier: Reincarnation?

Reincarnation is set to launch on July 28 on both the Google Play Store and the App Store. As stated, it already launched in Japan earlier this year, and several timed events have run for Japanese players already. We'll have to wait and see whether these events will be rescheduled for

Where can you play Nier: Reincarnation?

Square Enix is launching Nier Reincarnation on Android and iOS devices. It's recommended for devices that can run Android 7 or later, and iPhone 7 or later. You can pre-register for the game on the Google Play Store. You might benefit from having a few mobile gaming accessoriess if you wish to play the game with a controller.

Rachel Kaser

Rachel Kaser is an Android Central gaming contributor, who's been writing since 2013 and gaming since the age of five. She's covered everything from gaming news, reviews, and analysis -- if it exists in gaming, she knows about it. She also contributes to Future's other sites, iMore and Windows Central. If you want to hear her opinions on games, pop culture, tech, and everything in between, follow her on Twitter @rachelkaser